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Watch ‘The Gretsch Sound: A Guitar Pull with Emmanuel, Pennington, Robinson and Striking Matches’

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The Country Music Hall of Fame booked a special music celebration event to send off the American Sound and Beauty: Guitars from the Bachman-Gretsch Collection. And for those who couldn’t attend in person, you are in luck as “The Gretsch Sound: A Guitar Pull with Emmanuel, Pennington, Robinson and Striking Matches” was streamed online, and is archived below.

Through this casual musical performance, these masterful players discussed the unique features of Gretsch design and demonstrated their individual musical styles with their own instruments.

Tommy Emmanuel is regarded as one of the world’s leading fingerstyle guitarists, and is a two-time Grammy nominee, and one of only five guitarists named Certified Guitar Player (CGP) by Chet Atkins.

Emmanuel had the distinctive honor of using the world renowned early Chet Atkins Gretsch 6120 prototype guitar, aka “Dark Eyes” guitar, for both the CMHOF performance and a previous July 12 show at the Grand Ole Opry, marking the first time in 55 years that the special instrument had been played in public for an audience.

The 1956 Gretsch Sealed Top 6120 prototype was built specifically for Chet Atkins and was dubbed “Black Gold” in a 2013 Guitar Aficionado magazine feature article, and has been hailed by Guitar Player magazine as one of “Two of The Most Important Electric Guitars Of All Time.”

Kentucky native Eddie Pennington, a perpetuator of the “Muhlenberg Sound” of Merle Travis, is a recipient of the NEA National Heritage Fellowship and a member of the National Thumb Pickers Hall of Fame. Virtuoso guitarist and singer-songwriter Joe Robinson is an Australian Guitar Magazine award winner and a winner of Australia’s Got Talent. Striking Matches, the songwriting, guitar-wielding, alternative-country duo of Justin Davis and Sarah Zimmerman, has been featured on the ABC series Nashville, and their debut album, Nothing but the Silence, was produced by T Bone Burnett.

Fast forward to about the 10-minute mark for the start of the action!

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Guns N’ Roses Kick Off Not in This Lifetime Tour

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Richard Fortus with his Players Edition White Falcon. Photo: Kat Benzova

Guns N’ Roses have reclaimed their rightful place in the rock ‘n’ roll spotlight, triumphantly returning to the stage at Detroit’s Ford Field for their debut show on the “Not in This Lifetime” tour.

Frontman Axl Rose (back in full force after suffering a broken bone in his foot earlier in the year) and original members Slash and Duff McKagan were first to emerge on stage, followed by new members Richard Fortus on guitar and Dizzy Reed and Melissa Reese on keys. Together, they brought down the house of 40,000 eager fans that have waited years for a reunion they never thought possible.

“I’ve been playing with Guns N’ Roses for 15 years now and the work ethic these guys have is amazing,” Fortus told Gretsch Guitars. “I think I’ve rehearsed more this year in that band than I have in the previous 14 years together. It’s been really intense and very focused. It’s a great learning experience and a great honor.”

Those rehearsals apparently have paid off as GNR put on a tight and epic two-and-a-half-hour performance that kicked off with “It’s So Easy” and included hits “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Chinese Democracy” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” GNR closed out the thrilling show with fan favorite “Paradise City.”

Guns N’ Roses will tour through August with a star studded opening lineup on select dates that includes The Cult, Alice in Chains, Lenny Kravitz and more. Dates here.

Check out fan footage from the concert below.

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The Shelters Take on Classic Sounds with a Modern Twist on Debut Album

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“Fuzzy, bluesy and melodic … it’s as if the Laurel Canyon harmonies of the 1970s spent the glam rock ‘80s in The Viper Room on the Sunset Strip before getting a 2015 update in Silverlake.” – Paste Magazine

Paste Magazine’s editor-in-chief Joshua Jackson could not have described Los Angeles-based quartet the Shelters anymore perfectly, and their updated retro sounds evoke every bit of their homeland. Comprised by singer and guitarist Josh Jove, singer and guitarist Chase Simpson, drummer Sebastian Harris and bassist Jacob Pilot, the Shelters have been tearing up the L.A. music scene for the past few years.

Their infectious beats and energetic live shows caught the attention of legendary music veteran Tom Petty, who welcomed the band into his home studio and co-produced their self-titled debut, dropping tomorrow (Friday, June 10). Petty’s influence is heavily present throughout the Shelters inaugural effort, and it’s hardly a coincidence that Jove and Simpson’s vocals can be easily mistaken at times for Petty’s signature croon.

Having Petty take Jove and his bandmates under his wing was an undeniable dream come true for this young band.

“Everyone knows he’s one of the best American songwriters and I think he has a lot of wisdom in regards to what makes songs do well and what makes people love music,” said Jove during an interview with Gretsch Guitars. “He’s such a music lover himself and he’s studied great music over all these years and he knows what makes a good song.”

Petty is not the only influence at play, though. The Shelters draw from countless other inspirations that include Hendrix, the Beatles, Jimmy Page and the Kinks. Their riffs are reminiscent of hits of the past, pulling from the pinnacle of each era from the ’60s to present day. For instance, anthemic opening track “Rebel Heart” features a jingle from Jove and Simpson’s guitars that can be likened to Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson.” These components combine with a supremely catchy chorus: “She’s got a rebel heart/One day she’s going to fall/She’s got a rebel heart/She’s up against them all,” making for a simple and fun instant hit. Elsewhere, track “Liar” opens with a “Smoke on the Water” vibe that progresses into an ‘80s-style chorus, showing the stylistic range the Shelters are capable of.

Throughout the album, the Shelters never really show signs of slowing, keeping their energy high and riffs steady as their ever-present classic elements hold strong. “Gold” embodies quintessential ‘60s surf, while “Fortune Teller” and “Down” ooze Petty-like qualities. “The Ghost is Gone” is perhaps the most complex, modern and musically diverse songs on the record. This cut carries quite a variety of sounds that feature an eerie Doors-esque melancholy melody that builds into a heavier, dynamic classic rock song during the chorus.

Other songs gracing the record are equally inspiring, eclectic and enthusiastic. The Shelters present a simple yet sophisticated collection of sounds that offer a modern take on classic chart-toppers with the right amount of distortion, fuzz and effects. It’s a bold move to tackle vintage sounds and continue the legacy paved by such legendary influences, but this talented young band has found the sweet spot of mixing it up with their own unique updated style. It’s no wonder Petty was instantly drawn to the Shelters and their appealing brand of music that offers a little something for everyone.

Pre-order the album here.

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The Shelters Make a Smashing Debut in “Rebel Heart” Video

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Los Angeles-based rock band the Shelters seem posed to make a mark on the music scene.

Sebastian Harris, Josh Jove, Jacob Pillot, and Chase Simpson formed the band in 2014 and lucked out when Tom Petty caught one of their performances. So impressed by the group, Petty invited the band to record in his home studio, featured Jove and Simpson on the Heartbreakers’ Hypnotic Eye and even co-produced their upcoming full-length, self-titled album (due out June 10.)

Lead single “Rebel Heart” is a foot-tapping, guitar-driven tune and is a perfect introduction to this up-and-coming band, and its new music video — directed by Stash Silonski and Petty’s daughter Adria Petty—portrays the band with all of its swagger in a live environment.

“In the video for ‘Rebel Heart,’ we wanted to highlight the rock and roll energy we feed off of in our live show,” said Jove. “With the lights, the heat, the girls and the beat, we hope the video offers a surreal glimpse into that world.”

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Jamestown Revival Spreads Their Movement at Stagecoach

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“Jamestown Revival is more than music.  It’s an idea, and it’s a movement.  It’s grass roots, and it’s back porch.  Our strength is in numbers, but our individuality is ever present.  We appreciate the simpler things, and we know where we came from.  We value timelessness over trendiness, and quality over quantity.  We are Revivalists…”

So reads the band’s description on their YouTube page, and during a nearly hour-long midday set at Stagecoach’s Palomino Stage on Saturday, Jamestown Revival proved that their blend of southern country, Americana and rock is stirring a movement.

“Wow.” “Killing it.”  “Unreal.”

Those were just a few examples of the praise that quickly found its way to the twitter universe, along with some live streams on Periscope.

Zach Chance and Jonathan Clay became friends at age 14 in their hometown of Magnolia, Texas.  By 15, they had written their first song together, but it wasn’t until years later when the then-college roommates got serious about making music as a duo.  But eventually, while spending time on Texas ranch land owned by Clay’s family, the pair sat out on an old back porch with guitar and keyboard and started to write music.

“We wrote them with a different mindset, with a duo mindset, and they were built around harmony and they just had a different vibe. That was really the start of Jamestown. It started that day,” Clay said in an interview with windupmagazine.com.

The childhood friends borrowed their band name from the Jamestown settlement in Virginia, with the idea in mind to leave behind the old and head out on an adventure. (They also note Credence Clearwater Revival as a huge influence.) So they took their dream and headed west to Los Angeles, where they found inspiration for the songs that appear on debut album Utah.

Its track “California (Cast Iron Soul)” earned an immediate and hearty reaction from the audience, which led quickly to a clap, sing and stomp-along from the Stagecoach crowd.

California, I don’t even know you.
You’ve taken me away from home.
Old Magnolia I’ll never get over you.
The feelings running straight to my bones.
Someday I’ll be coming home.
Someday I’ll be coming home.
With a cast iron soul.

The boys did return home, or close to it, anyhow.  After recording Utah, (named after the cabin in Utah’s Wasatch mountains where they made the album), JR would eventually opt to move to Austin, about 200 miles away from Magnolia.

JR also paid tribute to home during their Stagecoach set with a “song they wrote about the good ol’ boys” called  “Head On” that saw them working the stage and at times, sharing a mic to blend their voices, which only added to the communal sense of the performance.

Another set highlight included a shout-out to Merle Haggard as JR gave a poignant cover of “Silver Wings.”

It was an overall emotive and awe-inspiring performance, and we’re betting that the “movement” grew exponentially after Saturday’s solid showing.

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